United States District Court, Southern District of Alabama

United States District Court
Southern District of Alabama

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Past Notices

Scam Emails About Phony Court Cases Carry Computer Virus

- January 13, 2014

The federal judiciary has learned of an email scam, in which emails purporting to come from federal and state courts are infecting recipients with computer viruses.

According to the Security Operations Center of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the emails are instructing recipients to report to a hearing on a specified day and time. The emails also instruct recipients to review an attached document for detailed case information. When the attachments or links in the email are opened, a malicious program is launched that infects the recipient's computer. Several state courts have reported similar schemes, and also are warning the public about potential viruses.

Unless you are actively involved in a case in federal court and have consented to receive court notifications electronically, you generally will not be served with court documents electronically.

If you receive an email regarding a federal court case or matter of which you are unaware, you should contact the federal court in your jurisdiction before opening any attachments or links. Use the court locator to find your court's contact information.

Attention Counsel

- November 18, 2013

The Southern District of Alabama has adopted a new Disclosure Statement Form pursuant to Local Rule 3.4. The form was revised November 18, 2013. Please use this from for future reference.

Update to U.S. District Courts Fee Schedule Effective May 1, 2013

- April 9, 2013

NOTICE: NEW $50 administrative fee for filing a civil action, suit or proceeding in District Court effective May 1, 2013 (NOTE: Does not apply to persons granted in forma pauperis status under 28 USC § 1915).

PACER Fee Increase Effective April 1, 2012

- March 26, 2012

The Judicial Conference of the United States has amended the Electronic Public Access Fee Schedule to increase the PACER Internet access fee from eight cents per page to ten cents per page, effective April 1, 2012, and to raise the waiver from $10 to $15 in a quarterly billing cycle. The 30 page cap on reports and case-related documents (excluding transcripts) will remain in effect for a maximum charge of $3.00.

Amendment to Realtime Services Policy

- November 9, 2011

Effective January 1, 2012, a litigant may order a realtime unedited transcript transmitted via a realtime feed in the courtroom without the requirement to order a certified transcript of the same proceeding. Litigants may order a certified transcript, but they are not required to do so.

Crack Amendment Memo

- September 26, 2011 [updated]

As you are aware, in late June 2011 the United States Sentencing Commission voted to give retroactive effect to Amendment 750, a proposed amendment to the federal sentencing guidelines that implements the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. This amendment reduces the sentencing guideline ranges for certain federal crack cocaine offenders. Retroactivity of Amendment 750 will become effective on November 1, 2011, which is also the effective date of the amendment itself, unless Congress acts to disapprove it.

It is expected that a substantial number of offenders previously sentenced in the Southern District of Alabama will be eligible for sentence reduction pursuant to retroactive application of Amendment 750. In anticipation of the November 1 effective date, a number of questions have arisen among practitioners as to how Amendment 750 will be implemented locally. The judges of this District Court, in consultation with the Clerk of Court and the United States Probation Office, have developed a protocol for processing Amendment 750 resentencing issues in an efficient, comprehensive and fair manner. The salient components of that protocol (presented in Q&A format) are set forth below.

  1. How may an offender obtain retroactive application of Amendment 750? The court will not sua sponte identify and re-sentence offenders who may be eligible for relief; rather, offenders who believe they may be eligible must file a motion for modification of sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). The court will construe pro se filings liberally, and will not require any particular form of pleading to trigger the review process. Any filing that reasonably appears to be a § 3582(c)(2) motion requesting the benefit of retroactive application of Amendment 750 will be treated as such. No specific form or “magic words” are required.
  2. When may offenders request retroactive application of Amendment 750? As noted, the effective date of the amendment is November 1, 2011. Nonetheless, the Clerk of Court has already begun receiving and docketing motions from offenders requesting relief under that amendment. Those motions are premature. They will not be adjudicated at this time, but will instead be held in a queue until November 1. No further action will be required of these petitioners after the amendment’s effective date to bring their already-pending § 3582 motions to the court’s attention. Even though Amendment 750 motions are being accepted at this time, petitioners are strongly encouraged to wait until after November 1 to file them, so as to minimize the administrative burden on court and clerk’s office staff in tracking those pending, unripe motions until the effective date.
  3. What happens after the § 3582(c)(2) motion is filed? All such motions will be referred to the U.S. Probation Office for screening. Motions filed by petitioners who are clearly ineligible for relief (such as, for instance, those sentenced to mandatory minimums prior to the effective date of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, who are ineligible because Congress did not make the FSA retroactive) will be summarily denied. However, if initial screening suggests that the petitioner is eligible for sentence reduction under Amendment 750, the court will enter a show cause order reciting the revised guidelines range, setting forth its proposed course of action and affording both the Government and petitioner a reasonable opportunity to be heard. It is anticipated that most § 3582(c)(2) motions concerning Amendment 750 will be resolved on the papers, without a hearing.
  4. Will counsel be appointed for petitioners? In most cases, no. It is well settled in this Circuit that there is no constitutional or statutory right to counsel for a § 3582(c)(2) motion. See United States v. Webb, 565 F.3d 789, 794-95 (11th Cir. 2009). Moreover, it is the assessment of the judges of this District Court that counsel would not be helpful to either petitioners or the court in the vast majority of § 3582(c)(2) proceedings arising from retroactive application of Amendment 750. That said, the court retains discretion to appoint counsel in particular cases where equitable concerns would make the appointment of counsel appropriate to ensure a just outcome, or where it appears that counsel may be of assistance to the petitioner or the court.

Official Crack Amendment Memo (pdf)

Notice to Customers Presenting Checks

- June 28, 2010

Checks submitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama will be converted into an electronic funds transfer (EFT). This means we will copy your check and use the account information on it to electronically debit your account for the amount of the check. [more]

Summons Notice

- June 1, 2010

As of June 1, 2010, Clerk's Office policy for issuing Civil Summons has changed. Once the Clerk's Office has issued the Summons and posted it in the CM/ECF system all Civil Summons are immediately available. The Summons must be printed by the serving party for service. It is no longer necessary for the Clerk's Office to apply the raised seal and mail summons to counsel.

Federal Rules Change

- December 1, 2009

The revisions to the Federal Rules effective December 1, 2009, govern and supersede deadlines established by the content of the Local Rules for the Southern District of Alabama. The court is in the process of amending our local rules so there is no conflict, however until the amendments are in place, the Federal Rules will govern time computations.

CM/ECF Version 4 Upgrade

- November 23, 2009

The Court's CM/ECF system will be upgraded today, November 23rd, from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Please review changes here. You may call (251)690-2371 if you need assistance.

Attorney Readmission and Increase in Admission Fees

- August 21, 2009

Effective September 1, 2009, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama will require re-admission to the Bar every five years. Members whose admission date is greater than five years shall electronically submit to the Clerk certification respecting their eligibility to remain as members of the bar in good standing, together with the renewal fee prescribed by the court ($50.00). Beginning September 1, 2009, the court will send email to those attorneys requiring re-admission. The re-admission process will consist of logging into the court’s CM/ECF system and using the Attorney Re-admission event to e-file certification. This will be a text only entry, no document will be associated. Payment will be made online by credit card during the event. Attorney’s failing to submit certification and renewal fee within 60 days from the date email is received shall cease to be members in good standing until such certification and renewal fee is submitted.

Effective September 1, 2009, the fee for general admission to the Bar will be $200.00. Pro hac vice admission will be $50.00.

Charles R. Diard, Jr.,
Clerk, United States District Court

Attention Counsel

- July 31, 2008

Pursuant to Judicial Conference Policy the Southern District of Alabama has adopted a new Transcript Redaction Policy, revised 8/1/08 to allow 21 days for filing a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction with the Clerk of Court.

Encouraging Best Practices: Redaction of Information

- June 4, 2008

In compliance with the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States and the EGovernment Act of 2002 (PL 107-347), parties should refrain from including, or must redact where inclusion is necessary, all Social Security numbers, names of minor children, dates of birth and financial account numbers. E-filers must use extra care to make sure that the PDF documents to be submitted to ECF are fully and completely free of any hidden data which may contain redacted information. A common error in redacting information is to use the wrong method to redact the electronic file. Read more about Redaction of Information.

Increase to Transcript Fee Rates and New Transcript Delivery Category for FY 2008

- November 27, 2007

The Court has adopted a schedule of maximum transcript fee rates subject to the maximum rates established by the Judicial conference, effective October 1, 2007. This General Order is located on our website here: View Order.

CM/ECF Version 3.1

- November 27, 2007

CM/ECF Version 3.1 will be available Friday, November 30. Several new features have been included. Please review this PDF for highlights. Click here for a tutorial on version 3.1.

New Civil Subpoena Form, AO-88

- January 23, 2007

The national Civil Subpoena form, AO-88, has been updated to reflect the "electronic discovery" amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that took effect on December 1, 2006. The new Civil Subpoena form is available here.

CM/ECF Version 3.0

- November 30, 2006

CM/ECF Version 3.0 is now available. Several new features have been included. Please review these PDF slides for highlights.

Court Fees to Increase

- March 14, 2006

The President signed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 on February 8, 2006. The Act included the provision to raise a number of fees including the District Court filing fee from $250 to $350. Additionally, the fees associated with filing a Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals will increase from $255 to $455. The new fees are effective 60 days from enactment, which would be Sunday, April 9th.

New Standing Order

- January 3, 2006

Standing Order 31, which addresses electronic devices in the courthouse, was adopted by the Court on January 3, 2006, and is available at the link below.

Standing Order 31

New District Judge

- January 3, 2006

Judge Kristi K. DuBose was sworn in on December 29, 2005, as the newest United States District Judge for the Southern District of Alabama, replacing Senior United States District Judge Charles R. Butler, Jr., who has now taken senior status.

Beware of Jury Duty Telephone Scam

- October 4, 2005

This court will never contact you by phone to request personal information. If you receive a call from someone requesting personal information and claiming to be an officer of this court please contact the clerk's office immediately.

For more information on this scam click the following links:

Long Distance Service - Updated

- September 16, 2005

The Court is experiencing difficulty with its Sprint long distance phone service due to an outage caused by Hurricane Katrina. If you are attempting to call the Court and Sprint is your long distance provider, you probably will not be able to complete your call. If this is the case, you may try another long distance provider, try calling our backup number (251)434-4297, or email the Court using the link below. We are checking this email account often and will reply to you quickly. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this service outage. E-mail the court using the form on this page.

New Website Launches

- August 4, 2005

Welcome to the new website for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. We've tried to lay this out better than our old one so that things will be in more logical places. If a document is new you'll see a notice on this page. If we have an attorney notice you'll see it here. If Jurors need information we now have a Jury tab. If you want information on our courtroom technology look in the Court Info tab. This site is also now printer-friendly so you can print out any page without unsightly links showing up. These are just a few of the new features, so look around!

Name Change

- July 21, 2005

Please note that Magistrate Judge Kristi D. Lee reassumed her family surname and that all future correspondence and filings should be addressed to Magistrate Judge Kristi K. DuBose.

Increase to the Civil Filing Fee Effective February 7, 2005

- January 5, 2005

On December 8, 2004, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005 was signed into law. The Act increased the filing fee for civil actions prescribed by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) from $150 to $250. This change in the civil filing fee will become effective February 7, 2005.

Notice of Electronic Availability of Criminal Case File Documents

- November 1, 2004

Please be informed that documents filed in criminal cases in this court are now available to the public electronically.

You shall not include sensitive information in any document filed with the court. You must remember that any personal information not otherwise protected will be made available over the Internet via WebPACER. The following personal data identifiers must be partially redacted from the document whether it is filed traditionally or electronically: Social Security numbers to the last four digits; financial account numbers to the last four digits; names of minor children to the initials; dates of birth to the year; and home addresses to the city and state.

In compliance with the E-Government Act of 2002, a party wishing to file a document containing the personal data identifiers specified above may file an unredacted document under seal. This document shall be retained by the court as part of the record. The court may, however, also require the party to file a redacted copy for the public file.

Because filings will be remotely, electronically available and may contain information implicating not only privacy but also personal security concerns, exercise caution when filing a document that contains any of the following information and consider accompanying any such filing with a motion to seal. Until the court has ruled on any motion to seal, no document that is the subject of a motion to seal, nor the motion itself or any response thereto, will be available electronically or in paper form.

  1. any personal identifying number, such as driver's license number;
  2. medical records, treatment and diagnosis;
  3. employment history;
  4. individual financial information;
  5. proprietary or trade secret information;
  6. information regarding an individual's cooperation with the government;
  7. information regarding the victim of any criminal activity;
  8. national security information; and
  9. sensitive security information as described in 49 U.S.C. § 114(s).

Counsel is strongly urged to share this notice with all clients so that an informed decision about the inclusion of certain materials may be made. If a redacted document is filed, it is the sole responsibility of counsel and the parties to be sure that all documents and pleadings comply with the rules of this court requiring redaction of personal data identifiers. The clerk will not review filings for redaction.

Revision of Administrative Procedures for Filing, Signing, and Verifying Pleadings and Documents by Electronic Means

- September 1, 2004

Amended to Administrative Procedures for Filing, Signing, and Verifying Pleadings and Documents by Electronic Means. The active Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama have entered a revised Administrative Procedures for Filing, Signing, and Verifying Pleadings and Documents by Electronic Means, to be effective September 1, 2004. The revised Procedure may be downloaded from the "Documents" or "CM/ECF" section of our website.

Revision of Standing Order Number 24

- August 26, 2004

Amended Order In Re Assignment of Civil Cases to United States Magistrate Judges. The active Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama have entered a revised Standing Order Number 24, to be effective August 26, 2004. The revised Standing Order, along with a new Standing Order index, may be downloaded from the "Documents" section of our website.

Notice to Counsel of Mandatory Electronic Noticing and Electronic Filing

- August 1, 2004

Effective September 1, 2004 counsel must file all documents electronically through CM/ECF. Additionally, all counsel must register for electronic service of documents. Please see the CM/ECF section of our website to register. Click here for Entire Notice.

Revision of Standing Order Number 9

- April 27, 2004

Amended Order Adopting Guidelines for the Deposit of Registry Funds. The active Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama have entered a revised Standing Order Number 9, to be effective April 27, 2004. The revised Standing Order, along with a new Standing Order index, may be downloaded from the "Documents" section of our website.

Revision of Standing Order Number 5

- January 1, 2004

Implementation of Sentencing Procedures Under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. The active Judges of the Federal Court have entered a revised Standing Order Number 5, to be effective January 1, 2004. The revised Standing Order, along with a new Standing Order index, may be downloaded from the "Documents" section of our website.

Electronic Availability of Transcripts

- December 15, 2003

The Court is participating in a pilot project regarding the electronic availability of transcripts. The pilot project will apply to all transcripts of civil or criminal proceedings ordered on or after June 15, 2004. Please download the following document for further details.

E-Filing and E-Mail Noticing

- May 15, 2003

Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) is the new automated case management and electronic docketing system for the Southern District of Alabama. CM/ECF provides a new, easy-to-use electronic case filing feature that will make life easier for you by allowing you to file and view court documents over the Internet. Please click on CM/ECF on the left side of this page for further details or click here for online registration.

PACER Net

- May 15, 2003

With PACER Net you can have access to an electronic history of a case of interest over the Web. Click here to learn more about PACER.